Friday, December 02, 2016

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court Invalidates Sentences of Abortion Clinic Workers

On Tuesday, a 4-judge panel of the First Chamber of Brazil's Supreme Federal Court overturned the jail sentences of 5 people who were working at an underground abortion clinic near Rio de Janeiro.  Telesur reports:
Judge Luis Roberto Barroso argued in his decision that given that women carry the full burden of reproduction, “there will be full equality only if she is recognized as having the right to decide.”
He argued that women’s health and safety should be ensured without interference, saying, “Having a child determined by the Criminal Code constitutes a serious violation of the physical and psychological integrity of a woman.”
Barroso also noted that criminalization of abortion disproportionately affects poor and marginalized women who face even more restricted access to private services.
Here is the full text in Portuguese of Judge Barroso's opinion. RNS reports that the decision, which is seen as setting precedent "legalizing abortion during the first trimester has caused uproar among politicians with strong ties to Roman Catholic and evangelical faiths, who have gained ground in the current government."